Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Reason for the Ascension


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 David Hawthorne

David Hawthorne

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 130 posts

Posted 11 June 2016 - 01:51 AM

 Jesus said that He needed to ascend before the Spirit could be sent.
 

Why was it necessary for Jesus to ascend before that happened? Why couldn't Jesus have stayed on earth and called the Holy Spirit for His ministry?
 
Someone asked me this the other day but I was curious how others would answer......


#2 Olga

Olga

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,823 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 11 June 2016 - 03:53 AM

An answer, from Christ Himself, from John 16:

5 “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

 

As to why, I suppose only God knows. :)



#3 Georgianna

Georgianna

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 56 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 11 June 2016 - 09:35 AM

Some help is also found in the Vespers and Orthros of the Feast:

Never parted from the Father's bosom, O most sweet Jesus, and having lived as man among those on the earth, You are ascended today in glory from the Mount of Olives, thereby exalting our fallen nature in Your compassion, for You have enthroned humanity with the Father ... [Vespers, Idiomelon of the Feast]
 
When You came down from heaven to things on earth and as God raised up with You Adam's nature which lay below in Hades' prison, You brought it to heaven by Your Ascension, O Christ, and made it sit with You on Your Father's throne, for You are merciful and You love mankind. [Orthros, after the Polyeleos]
 
As the One Who descended into the lowest part of the earth, and Who saved humankind, and Who raised up humanity by Your ascension: You do we magnify.
The majesty of Him Who became poor in the flesh is raised above the heavens, and our fallen nature is honored by sitting with the Father.  Let us keep festival and let us all cry aloud in one accord, and gladly clap our hands.   [Kanon of the Feast, Ode 9]


St Athanasios further highlights an aspect of the feast:

It was not the Logos Himself Who needed an opening of the gates, being Lord of all; nor were any of His works closed to their Maker.  But we it was who needed it, whom He carried up by His own body.  For as He offered it to Death on behalf of all, so by it He once more made ready the way up into the heavens. [On the Incarnation, 25]
 
"The Logos, being immortal and 'the effulgence of the glory and impress of the Father's hypostasis,' took the form of a servant.  As a man He underwent death for us in His flesh .... Likewise, as man, it is said that 'God also exalted Him exceedingly [Phil 2:9].'  This does not signify that the essence of the Logos was exalted, for He was ever and is equal to God, but the exaltation is of the manhood.... So He did not need to be exalted, for He is already the highest, but that He may become righteousness for us, and that we may be exalted in Him and may enter the gates of heaven, which He has opened for us, the forerunners saying, 'Lift the gates,' the rest of the verse [Ps 23:9].  For here also the gates were not shut on Him Who is the Lord and Maker of all, but because of us this too is written - to whom the door of Paradise was shut. [Discourses Against the Arians, Discourse I, Ch XI, 41]

 

 
 
 

 



#4 Olga

Olga

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 2,823 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 11 June 2016 - 10:07 AM

However, the above hymns for the feast do not speak of the "need" for Christ to ascend in order for the Holy Spirit to descend, but of the completion of the redemption and sanctification of mankind through Christ.
 
Hymns which mention the bestowing of the Holy Spirit only speak of Christ's promise to send the Spirit, without elaborating further as to why Christ had to ascend first:
 
The Lord has been taken up into heaven, that He may send the Advocate to the world. The heavens have prepared His throne; clouds His ascent. Angels marvel to see a man high above them. The Father receives Him whom He holds eternally in His bosom. The Holy Spirit orders all His Angels: Lift up our gates, you rulers. All you nations, clap your hands: for Christ has gone up to where he was before.

Lord, Christ, giver of Life, as Your Apostles, filled with lamentations of tears of dejection, saw You borne up on clouds, grieving they said: Master, do not make us Your servants orphans, whom through pity You have loved as You are compassionate; but, as You promised, send us Your all-holy Spirit to guide our souls with light.

Lord, as You completed the mystery of Your dispensation, taking your Disciples with You, You took them up onto the Mount of Olives; and behold, You passed through the firmament of heaven. For me You became poor like me, and You ascended whence You had not been parted; send forth Your all-holy Spirit, to enlighten our souls.

In ascending to heaven, Lord, whence You also descended, do not leave us orphans; may Your Spirit come, bringing peace to the world; show to the children of mankind deeds of Your power, O Lord who loves mankind.

God has gone up with a shout, the Lord to the sound of the trumpet, to raise up Adam’s fallen image and send the Advocate Spirit to sanctify our souls.

You were taken up in glory, Christ our God, having made the Disciples joyful with the promise of the Holy Spirit; through the blessing they were assured that You are the Son of God, the redeemer of the world.
(troparion of the feast)



#5 Georgianna

Georgianna

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 56 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 11 June 2016 - 10:49 AM

Thank you for the clarification of the topic.

 

I neglected to focus on the term "need." 

 

I erroneously thought only in terms of our Lord's Ascension completing the restoration of fallen human nature, thereby enabling us to receive the Holy Spirit. 



#6 Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 290 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 11 June 2016 - 04:32 PM

I agree with the Scripture that Olga quoted.  I also wonder if the "need" was more for us.  After taking on humanity, the LORD is now seated at the right hand of the Father.  One cannot do any better than that.  Humans now have someone who added humanity to Himself to look up to.



#7 Matthew Panchisin

Matthew Panchisin

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 589 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 11 June 2016 - 07:55 PM

Dear Ben,

 

"I also wonder if the "need" was more for us."

 

I think you are right about that.

 

In Christ,

 

Matthew Panchisin



#8 Lakis Papas

Lakis Papas

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 616 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 11 June 2016 - 11:33 PM

The speech of St Peter explains the issue at Acts 2:

Now raised to the heights by God's right hand, he has received from the Father the Holy Spirit, who was promised, and what you see and hear is the outpouring of that Spirit.

#9 Angie

Angie

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 213 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 12 June 2016 - 10:10 AM

Just wondering if it is on the Ascention we stop saying the Christ is Risen Chant in our prayers?

 

Or maybe its Pentecost?



#10 Lakis Papas

Lakis Papas

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 616 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 12 June 2016 - 11:33 AM




... Why couldn't Jesus have stayed on earth...


The Ascension of our Lord

Kontakion — Tone 6

When You had fulfilled the dispensation for our sake, / and united earth to heaven: / You ascended in glory, O Christ our God, / not being parted from those who love You, / but remaining with them and crying: / “I am with you and no one will be against you!”

#11 Lakis Papas

Lakis Papas

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 616 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 12 June 2016 - 11:37 AM

Just wondering if it is on the Ascention we stop saying the Christ is Risen Chant in our prayers?

Or maybe its Pentecost?


Ascension is the final day. The period last 40 days.

#12 Angie

Angie

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 213 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 12 June 2016 - 12:37 PM

Thank you Lakis






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users